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Aurora Municipal Justice Center

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1989, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; senior designer, W. Kenneth Wiseman. E. Alameda Dr. and S. Sable Blvd.

An apparition on the prairie, this $21 million Neo–Renaissance Revival palace features a 65-foot-high, 72-foot-diameter precast concrete dome, covered in metal painted to resemble oxidized copper. Exterior walls are paneled in gray precast concrete resembling stone with horizontal banding. Windows have applied painted iron sunbursts. The main (west) entry features a traditional open court, wood and brass accents, and a terrazzo sunburst floor in the lobby. Gracefully curving stairs lead to a gallery around the domed rotunda, which is washed with light from high east windows to celebrate Aurora, goddess of the dawn. Municipal courts, police headquarters, and an expanded detention center occupy wings in the 190,000-square-foot facility.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel

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